Fake Lao Tzu Quote

“Being deeply loved by someone..."

Fake Lao Tzu quote.

This is not a quote from the Tao Te Ching:

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

       Love is not a subject that Lao Tzu explores in his Tao Te Ching. Already that makes it certain: this is a fake Lao Tzu quote.

       And if that would not suffice, the clumsy pop song lyrics of the quote is far below what Lao Tzu mustered.

       Loving deeply – as if there is a meaningful way of measuring it. And if so, why do it vertically downwards? Does the expression hint at love being profound when it reaches all the way down to the groin?

       Furthermore, is strength really what you get from being loved? Not joy, for example? And it may take some courage to express one's love towards somebody, but is that the sole reward of it?

       The quote might imply, involuntarily, that the true blessings come from a love less deep.

       In any case, it has nothing to do with what Lao Tzu discussed. Nor would that strange egotistic focus on the sentiment we call love appeal to his contemporaries.

       This quote has no place in Ancient China. It is a modern wording of modern ideas.

       On Facebook, the quote doesn't start to appear until October 6, 2006 – without referring to Lao Tzu. December 19 that year, the first post crediting Lao Tzu with the quote appears. No source is given.

       The oldest book I have found giving the quote is the unlikely Peer Clinical Supervision in the Initial Field Experience, 1989, by Maurine Gail Rogers Miller ( p. i). Unfortunately, I could not see if the quote was accredited to Lao Tzu or someone else in that book.

       A slightly different wording, with additional lines, is accredited to a very different source: a Puerto Rican woman in New York, Esther Huertas, whose poem was quoted by Rosa Torruellas in Affirming Cultural Citizenship in the Puerto Rican Community, 1991, p. 65. Here it is in its entirety:

To be deeply loved by someone gives you strength, but to love someone deeply gives you courage. I'm not afraid to die, but I'd rather not be there when it happens. But when I dream that I'm alive, it seems like I'm dead when I awaken.

       That seems like a mixture of several quotes with different sources. None of them Lao Tzu, though.

Stefan Stenudd
April 2, 2017

Fake Lao Tzu Quotes

Here are some fake Lao Tzu quotes I have found, in alphabetical order. Click the quote to get to the webpage where I comment it. I plan to add more false quotes in the future, so do come back.

       I have chosen quotes that exist in meme form (images with text), because they tend to spread the most all over the web, especially in social media.

       Click the quote to get to the webpage about it.

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment.”

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

“Man's enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”

“The soul has no secret that the behavior does not reveal.”

“There are many paths to enlightenment. Be sure to take the one with a heart.”

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”

My Taoism Books:

Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching

The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. The great Taoist philosophy classic by Lao Tzu translated, and each of the 81 chapters extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.

Tao Quotes - the Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes

The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. 389 quotes from the foremost Taoist classic, divided into 51 prominent topics. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

       More about the book here.

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I Ching Online

The 64 hexagrams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.

Qi Energy Exercises

The ancient Chinese life energy qi (chi) explained, with simple instructions on how to exercise it.

Life Energy

The many ancient and modern life force beliefs all over the world explained.

Creation Myths

Creation stories from around the world, and the ancient cosmology they reveal.

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Other Books by Stefan Stenudd:

Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Qi - Increase Your Life Energy

The life energy qi (also chi or ki) explained, with exercises on how to awaken, increase and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles

Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Life Energy Encyclopedia

Qi, prana, spirit, ruach, pneuma, and many other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction. Stefan Stenudd

About me

I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. In addition to fiction, I've written books about Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. Click the image to get to my personal website.